True, that. Last April, I flew out of Boston, and it's a good thing I read the sign twice: it said the carryon scanner was NOT film-safe. I asked for and received hand inspection. I wish I could remember the terminal, because this was unusual.
Originally Posted by Ian Grant
That's exactly what I saw at Philadelphia but to be fair at the time that part of the airport was undergoing major re-development. They may well have had film safe scanners elsewhere.
Originally Posted by Peter Simpson
Another point that's missed is the scanners made outside the US aren't necessarily the same spec as those made inside the US even those made by the same company.
... so things have changed that much in 3 years? I'm getting confused:
I've seen signs like that in Los Angeles once too. It was in front of a Invision CT scanner at the international terminal. Indeed, that is not a fimsafe scanner. But that is only used for scanning carry-on for certain "high risk" international flights. I won't mention the airline... y'all probably know which one is more cautious than all of the others.
Originally Posted by Peter Simpson
In general (99% of the time) the carryon is scanned by Rapiscan equipment which is film safe within well-known limits. The signs will tell you that film over 800ASA might be affected. Every screening area I've ever been to in American airports have had that warning sign. Calling that equipment "not film safe" because of a condition that has existed since the dawn of xray scanning of carryon baggage is understandable, but perhaps a tad extreme. Within the well-known conditions of film speed and exposure rates, there is little risk of film damage.
But if people want to be especially cautious, that's fine. That is exactly why TSA opened the opportunity for hand check and the use of trace detection as an alternative.
Like Ian said a couple of years ago... I've never had a problem with it and I travel a lot. "As someone who travels extensively with film I've never had a problem and my films get scanned many multiples of times. Sometimes more than 20. " That was you, Ian , wasn't it?
Data point: I had 14+ scans in a trip around the world (including an old machine at the entrance to Tianenmen Square) in 2011 with no damage to my film. Fastest were TMY2 & Portra 400. I also left a sacrificial roll of Ektar in my checked luggage for the last 3 flights (including ex-China) with no damage to it.
So 5 passes through standard carry-on scanners is nothing to worry about. I would worry much much more about a fumble-fingered hand-inspection fogging my film.
I vaguely recall someone saying you get a far higher dose merely from being at high altitude for the duration of your typical international flight than you do from the scanners. If you wanted to be paranoid and/or carry very fast film, have a lead bag to put the film in while it's on-board but not while it's being scanned.
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Velvia 50 is safe from X-rays (Customs portal/carry-on). On a NZ trip a few years ago I went through about 8 x-ray sessions trotting about the country. No film was hurt.
No airports in Australia will hand-examine film on request: you do as Customs instruct you in the queue: put your goods through X-ray or you don't get in. Simple. (StoneNYC take note!)
Airside luggage scanners are lethal: it is said a bottle of Chanel No. 5 will "lose it's sweet pong" in there after just two passes (!)
Films above 400ISO will take around 3 passes before "bandy-bandy" becomes evident.
You can stuff film in lead-lined bags, but if Customs cannot adequately determine what the "shadow" is during X-ray, likely the item will be opened, inconveniencing all manner of people in queue, not the least of you.
T-Max P3200 and Delta 3200 films — don't bother taking these.
.::Gary Rowan Higgins
A comfort zone is a wonderful place. But nothing ever grows there.
At Schiphol airport in Amsterdam, hand inspection of my few rolls of delta 3200 was refused, when I requested it, after sending the rest of my film through the scanner. The inspector insisted that hand inspection would mean opening each roll, and unrolling it. When I asked to speak to his supervisor he said he WAS the supervisor.
The film went through the scanner. Hand inspection was done at other airports, that trip, including England - might have been Manchester rather than London. The film was OK.
I've never had any trouble with film being scanned (don't use >400ASA though).
I don't know how you carry your film (dumped in a bag or neatly stacked in a corner of a flight case) but banding is less likely a problem if the film is in a different orientation with respect to the X-ray tube with each scan.
I can report that I have had a LARGE quantity of film hand checked at Schiphol no problem. Maybe it was because I was with a native Dutch speaker.
Originally Posted by sly
I have never had a problem with getting film hand checked in the US. One thing that may be helpful is to travel with a boxed roll of 3200 ISO film and label your other film "shot at ISO 3200." I've done this and skipped the whole "our machine is fine for ISO 100 film" speech. What's amazing about it is it takes less time for them to hand check the film than it does to argue with you.
Originally Posted by RobertRF
The problem I have with xray machines is you pass through so many of them nowadays. You also do it in multiple countries where you really don't have all (or any) information about the scanners and operators. Also xray operators pop wood when my bag goes through the scanner. They run it through... then they pick it up and run it through again! All those camera bodies and lenses are TSA porn. I really don't want my film going through that ride multiple times at each airport. There have been multiple pronouncements in this thread but basically no links to back them up... other than the Kodak link telling you it is somewhat risky to run your film through an xray machine.
Personally I would do the relabeling thing and only take as much film as you need. Be polite and dress like someone who knows what they are doing. Also be prepared for all of this to not work and accept the fact that sometimes your film will get scanned. As people's anecdotal reports have shown most of the time no changes will show up in your final print. I mean it doesn't hurt to ask. But if you are refused it may not hurt to run the film through the scanner.
I find it hard to visualize that. But anyway, it were so, is there a practical use from this?
Originally Posted by jimbop